Ma­hanoy Area will de­fend cheer­leader law­suit

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - FRONT PAGE - BY PETER E. BORTNER Con­tact the writer: pbort­ner@ re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570-628-6014

MA­HANOY CITY — Ma­hanoy Area School District an­nounced Wed­nes­day that it will de­fend it­self against a fed­eral law­suit al­leg­ing it vi­o­lated a stu­dent’ s First Amend­ment rights in con­nec­tion with a Snapchat post­ing of a pho­to­graph con­tain­ing ob­scen­i­ties.

“Ma­hanoy will con­tinue, as is its right, to de­fend its coaches’ de­ci­sion in the fed­eral lit­i­ga­tion,” the one-page state­ment reads in part.

Par­ents of the stu­dent iden­ti­fied as B.L. sued the district on Sept .25 in U.S. District Court, al­leg­ing the sus­pen­sion of their daugh­ter from the cheer­lead­ing squad for the post un­con­sti­tu­tion­ally in­fringed on her rights.

Se­nior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Ca­puto is­sued a tempo- rary re­strain­ing or­der on Sept. 26 restor­ing B.L. to the squad. He then is­sued an in­junc­tion on Oct. 5 bar­ring the school from dis­miss­ing the girl from the squad be­cause of her post.

While Ma­hanoy Area said it will obey the or­ders, it be­lieves that it will even­tu­ally pre­vail in the law­suit.

“Ma­hanoy is con­fi­dent that un­der the cir­cum­stances, its coaches’ de­ci­sion will be up­held,” ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, which the district said will be its only com­ment on the mat­ter.

The coaches sus­pended the girl, al­low­ing her to try out again for the squad once she had com­pleted the sus­pen­sion. The school board up­held the sus­pen­sion, lead­ing to the law­suit.

“Ma­hanoy is con­fi­dent that un­der the cir­cum­stances, its coaches’ de­ci­sion will be up­held.” Ma­hanoy Area School District In a one-page re­sponse re­lated to a fed­eral law­suit filed by the par­ents of a sus­pended cheer­leader

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